Merry Christmas everyone. We hope you have had a great year. 2016 has been a bit of a rollercoaster for us. Sometimes literally, I will never set foot on that Tayto Park rollercoaster ever again. I can think of other ways to terrify myself, like finding out Malcolm is a vegetarian. At the end of another year it is easy to reminisce about what you have done and what you have failed to do. It is also easy to plan forward for the next year too and get a better perspective of what is essential to get done.
Thanks for following us on our food journey this year. Let’s make 2017 the best yet.
I like mince pies, especially hot and smeared with brandy butter. This time of year you can try any amount of them in the shops. Most of these pies struggle to get the pastry just right. They are mostly too dry and sometimes too soft. There is no arguing that Kipling, the crafy fella, has nailed it though. So we went and made Eccles cakes instead where the pastry is sweet and delicious. Any recipe that contains Jägermiester has my full attention. Give it yours and enjoy.
For the pastry
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
120ml cold water
For the filling
100g light brown soft sugar
250g mixed berries
1 egg white
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Freeze butter an hour or so before preparation. Put flour and salt into a big bowl. Grate frozen butter into flour and mix together well with your hands. Add cold water enough to bring the dough together. Wrap in cling film and leave in fridge for 30 minutes.
For filling mix together the butter, sugar, mixed berries and Jägermiester in a saucepan over medium heat and let it stew until berries plump up. Leave to cool at room temperature for an hour.
Remove pastry from fridge and roll out to €1 coin thickness. Stamp out circles using a 10cm cutter.
Divide filling into each circle pastry. Brush the edges with a little water. Pull up the sides of pastry and pinch together to seal. Flip cakes over and press each one down into greased baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Whisk the egg white until foamy and brush over each cake. Sprinkle with sugar. Slice three little lines onto each cake to allow steam to escape while cooking. Place cakes in fridge for 20 mins before baking.
Preheat oven to 180C fan oven and bake Eccles cakes for 20-25 mins until golden and crisp.